Small robotic fliers are not precisely durable currently, but they might be hard critters soon. Researchers at Harvard have designed a RoboBee that employs artificial, soft muscles to fly without taking injury. The robot can crash-land, smack into walls, or even bang with fellow bees without being damaged. Soft-muscle fliers have been present before, but this is the first with sufficient control to hover and power density.
The trick was to enhance the power density via refined components. The actuators are created with dielectric elastomers that have good insulating characteristics and deform below an electric field. Their updated electrode conductivity assists them work at the same 500Hz as the rigid actuators seen on different bots of the same size. They are simple to replace and assemble, as well, so you can increase with more actuators and wings to manage more complicated jobs. It took a model with 8 wings and 4 actuators to fly in a controlled way.
The tech still is not very competent versus the traditional robots. Scientists expect to enhance the tech and they wouldultimately like to sell it. If they do, there are various possible employments. Harvard dreams these robots being helpful for search-and-rescue projects, where a robot may have to drive though dangerous rubble seeking for survivors.
On a related note, Sony has rolled out a more affordable, smaller edition of Koov, its coding candy-colored toy for children. A Koov kit has motors, blocks, and sensors that children can place together to make small machines and robots, which they can program. It can make studies a lot more fun and ignite interest of kids in technology, science, art, engineering, and math subjects. But it also has a price tag of $520 for each set, which can be too much for schools with less funding or teachers who pay out of pocket for classroom supplies.